Add another home victory to the Bucks’ record at Fiserv Forum, as they continued their home cooking with a valiant 115-92 victory over the divisional Detroit Pistons, 115-92.
It wasn’t the flying start that we’ve become accustomed to in past games, but rather a rocky start. When I say rocky, I mean “not the best communication.” After being disgruntled by what he was seeing, Budehnolzer called a timeout and stomped his way to mid-court where he scolded Brook Lopez. It was something out of the ordinary, for sure. However, when the first quarter concluded, the Bucks were flirting with a double-digit lead at 30-21. The compass would start ticking north in the second quarter, as Milwaukee maintained their lead and headed into intermission with a 56-45 lead.
The second half would feature the Bucks on a cruise control with Detroit never really showing prominent signs of a comeback. All in all, considering the scenario of Khris Middleton being ruled out due to personal reasons just a little over an hour before tip-off, this team came out and exceeded expectations. When it was all said and done, the Bucks groomed a 115-92 victory.
Six Bucks players would etch their way into double-digit point territory, with Eric Bledsoe at the forefront with his 27 point performance (G. Antetokounmpo with 15, M. Brogdon with 14, and T. Snell, T. Maker, and S. Brown all with 11 apiece).
Blake Griffin led the Pistons in the points category, concluding his evening with 31 of his own. Reggie Jackson finished with 15 points.
Given the circumstances, this Bucks team did everything that they were supposed to do.
Listen — when you find out just over an hour before the game that one of your premier scorers is going to be missing action, there’s a strong likelihood that things could plummet south. Fortunately for Milwaukee, that wasn’t the case. I mean, even Giannis didn’t even really show up. He had a hollow 15 point performance and the Bucks never really had to rely on him to put the ball in the hoop. Instead, a well-balanced dose of offense carried Milwaukee to victory. Any time you have six players in double-figures, the chances of you winning a game are going to leap extraordinarily.
Downtown Sterling Brown!
Sterling is a player I haven’t had the opportunity to talk much about this season in any of my posts, so I’ll take this opportunity to shine the light on him. He’s been coming on late and receiving more playing time given the circumstances that have circled around with Khris Middleton, and he’s taken advantage of them. His final line consisted of 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-4 from downtown. Given with how unpredictable the NBA season can be, it’s promising to see Sterling capitalize on his moments out on the floor. He’s shown flashes, and I think he’ll continue to be impactful on this team moving forward. Coach Bud gave him his praises in his presser postgame, and it sure sounded like he was planning on throwing him minutes in the future.
Eric Bledsoe is continuing his high-octane performances.
In New York, Eric Bledsoe notched a season-high in points, tallying 27 — he did that again last night. I think it’s safe to say that Bledsoe has officially become the second-best player on this Bucks team, and with performances like these, he continues to separate himself from the pack. He’s just such a different player from last season, where he would make a flurry of bonehead decisions that’d be crucial for Milwaukee. Granted, that does happen from time to time this year, but given how he’s been contributing to this team, the positives are outweighing the negatives.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- Another similar player that has been seeing recent success similar to Bledsoe’s is Malcolm Brogdon. Coming into last night, he had scored 20 points in four of his last five matchups. He’d only put forth 14 points last night, so that stat is now four out of his last six games. Nonetheless, his contributions are still being relied on by Milwaukee, especially in a game where Middleton was a late scratch.
- I still am not over that Tony Snell put-back dunk. Here it is in case you missed it:
SITH LORD over on Twitter (@SithLordAR) came up with the Snalien as Snell’s nickname a couple years ago, and tonight, I’m bringing it back. That was a very Snalien-like move
- Early on, the Bucks were struggling to get any real work flowing. That resulted in Budenholzer calling a timeout and stomping his way to mid-court, where he got in the face of a disgruntled Brook Lopez. In my opinion, that may have been the most animated I’ve seen Bud in his time here — and rightfully so. The Bucks were lethargic early on, and Bud made sure to come wring it out. That’s what a good coach does. It reminds me of the old adage, “A coach only yells at you because he cares about you.”
- And last but not least, let’s end this Extended Cap with the Giannis dunk on Blake Griffin, providing him a taste of his own medicine: